August 13, 2013
Have you ever seen the movie “Idiocracy”? It is a movie about an “average American” that wakes up 500 years in the future only to discover that he is the most intelligent person by far in the “dumbed down” society that is surrounding him. Unfortunately, that film is a very accurate metaphor for what has happened to American society today. We have become so “dumbed down” that we don’t even realize what has happened to us. But once in a while something comes along that reminds us of how far we have fallen. In Kentucky, an eighth grade exam from 1912 was recently donated to the Bullitt County History Museum. When I read this exam over, I was shocked at how difficult it was. Could most eighth grade students pass such an exam today? Of course not. In fact, I don’t even think that I could pass it. Sadly, this is even more evidence of “the deliberate dumbing down of America” that former Department of Education official Charlotte Iserbyt is constantly warning us about. The American people are not nearly as mentally sharp as they once were, and with each passing generation it gets even worse.
Just check out some of the questions from the eighth grade exam that was discovered. Do you think that you could correctly answer these?…
-Through which waters would a vessel pass in going from England through the Suez Canal to Manila?
-How does the liver compare in size with other glands in the human body?
-How long of a rope is required to reach from the top of a building 40 feet high to the ground 30 feet from the base of a building?
-Compare arteries and veins as to function. Where is the blood carried to be purified?
-During which wars were the following battles fought: Brandywine, Great Meadows, Lundy’s Lane, Antietam, Buena Vista?
A copy of the exam is posted below. Today, it would be a real challenge for many college students to correctly answer most of these questions correctly…
If you would like to know what the correct answers to these questions are, you can find them right here.
One of the areas that Americans are horribly deficient in today is geography. If you give them a blank world map, most Americans can only identify a very limited number of countries. In fact, according to a survey that was conducted by the National Geographic Society several years ago, only 37 percent of all Americans between the ages of 18 and 24 could find the nation of Iraq on a map of the world even though the United States was actively fighting a war there at the time.
Our young people are also horribly deficient when it comes to math and science. At this point, 15-year-olds in the United States do not even rank in the top half of all industrialized nations when it comes to math and science literacy.
How do we expect to thrive as a nation with these kinds of results?
In a previous article entitled “Dumb As A Rock: You Will Be Absolutely Amazed At The Things That U.S. High School Students Do Not Know“, I discussed some more survey results that show how dumb our high school students have become…
*Only 43 percent of all U.S. high school students knew that the Civil War was fought some time between 1850 and 1900.
*More than a quarter of all U.S. high school students thought that Christopher Columbus made his famous voyage across the Atlantic Ocean after the year 1750.
*Approximately a third of all U.S. high school students did not know that the Bill of Rights guarantees freedom of speech and freedom of religion.
*Only 60 percent of all U.S. students knew that World War I was fought some time between 1900 and 1950.
Even more shocking were the results of a survey of Oklahoma high school students conducted back in 2009. The following is a list of the questions that were asked and the percentage of students that answered correctly….
What is the supreme law of the land? 28 percent
What do we call the first ten amendments to the Constitution? 26 percent
What are the two parts of the U.S. Congress? 27 percent
How many justices are there on the Supreme Court? 10 percent
Who wrote the Declaration of Independence? 14 percent
What ocean is on the east coast of the United States? 61 percent
What are the two major political parties in the United States? 43 percent
We elect a U.S. senator for how many years? 11 percent
Who was the first President of the United States? 23 percent
Who is in charge of the executive branch? 29 percent
So why is this happening?
Well, for one thing, our system of public education is a complete and total joke. We have millions of kids “graduating from high school” that can barely read, that have almost no ability to speak in public, that cannot write a decent essay and that cannot balance a checkbook.
It also doesn’t help that Americans (especially young Americans) are absolutely addicted to entertainment. Americans spend an average of 153 hours watching television each month, and when we aren’t watching television we are watching movies, playing video games, surfing the Internet, etc.
When is the last time that you saw a young person actually reading a book that was not required for school? Yes, it does happen once in a while, but it is so rare that it is kind of startling when you spot it happening.
But it is not just our young people that have been “dumbed down”. Even our presidents have been “dumbed down”. If you doubt this, just check out this amazing graphic which shows how the reading level of State of the Union addresses has steadily declined since the beginning of our nation.
Personally, I have an awareness that I should be able to think much more clearly than I am able to right now. I can feel the effect that our society has had on my own mental abilities, and it frustrates me.
A lot has been written about the decline of our health here in America, but very little gets written about our mental decline. That is a shame, because our ability to think clearly and rationally is so very critical to our future.
So what do you think about all of this?
Do you agree that America has been “dumbed down”?
Please feel free to share your opinion by posting a comment below…
August 19, 2013
Earlier this year President Obama detailed his new educational initiatives aimed at “closing America’s school readiness gap.” As with all things Obama, it seems that “readiness” is yet another doublespeak term that suggests exactly the opposite of the traditional definition.
At a recent school meeting in Grayslake, Illinois curriculum director Amanda August discusses the new federally mandated Common Core education standards, which are currently being implemented into school districts across the nation.
Here’s how we’re readying America’s children for a highly competitive globalized marketplace:
But even under the new Common Core… even if they said 3 X 4 was 11, if they were able to explain their reasoning and explain how they came up with their answer, really in words and in oral explanations, and they showed it in a picture but they just got the final number wrong, we’re really more focusing on the how and why.
It’s no matter if a student comes to the conclusion that 3 x 4 = 11. So long as they can explain how they made this erroneous determination they go home with an ‘A’.
Is it any wonder that, as Michael Snyder notes, our high school students are as dumb as rock, failing to answer the most basic of questions? A study conducted by none other than Common Core shows just how far we’ve fallen at America’s pedagogic institutions:
– Only 60% of students knew that WWI was fought between 1900 and 1950 — they only had to guess the half century!
– One in four high schoolers think Columbus discovered the New World after 1750
– On the multiple choice test, less than half of high schoolers knew when the Civil War was fought. They didn’t even need to know exact dates, just that it was sometime between 1850 and 1900.
– 40% of students could not identify the name of the ocean on the eastern side of the United States.
– Nearly 60% of students could not identify the two major political parties.
– When asked who is in charge of the Executive Branch of the United States, 70% of high school students got the wrong answer.
– Fully 75% of high school students failed to identify the First President of the United States
If you think we’re just picking and choosing, watch the following video from Lunch Scholars, which asks typical American high school students to answer a series of common questions covering topics such as American history, geography, and politics.
– In which war did our country win its independence?
– Who is the Vice President?
– Which countries border the U.S.?
– How many stars on the flag of the United States?
– Can you name a country starting with the letter “U” ?
Via The Daily Sheeple:
Though “experts” argue that the new Common Core standards will improve our education system and prepare America’s children for a brave new world, it should be obvious that this is nothing more than another Federal power grab, complete with tax-payer funded bribes, that’s designed to add another layer of control for the State:
Dr. Ron Paul:
Sadly, but not surprisingly, instead of improving education by repealing No Child Left Behind’s testing and other mandates, the Obama administration is increasing national control over schools via the “Common Core” initiative. Common Core is a new curriculum developed by a panel of so-called education experts. The administration is trying to turn Common Core into a national curriculum by offering states increased federal education funding if they impose Common Core’s curriculum on their public schools.
This is yet another example of the government using money stolen from the people to bribe states into obeying federal dictates.
Critics of Common Core say it “dumbs down” education by replacing traditional English literature with “informational texts”. So students will read such inspiring materials as studies by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, the EPA’s “Recommended Levels of Insulation,” and “Invasive Plant Inventory” by California’s Invasive Plant Council. It is doubtful that reading federal reports will teach students the habits of critical thinking and skepticism of government that the Founders considered essential to maintaining a free republic.
American exceptionalism is being dumbed-down from cradle to grave on every level.
It should be obvious that the long-term plan is not to improve the lives of Americans, but rather, to create a slave-based society through (mis)education, consumerism, and government dependence.